Friday Fictioneers : The end of Coral Ludd


PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays

You know the Red Mountain Market and Deli? Closed up, oh, fifteen years ago I guess. Round the time we had that spate of fires.

Owner was a guy called Stanley Ludd – brick-coloured hair, smelled of old books and floral disinfectant. Ran the place with his mother, Coral, and what a mean old biddy she was – used to bawl poor Stanley out in front of the customers, beat him sometimes.

She died in one of those fires, got trapped in the library somehow.

Never saw a prettier sight than all that paper burning, flames the colour of new bricks.

***

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See here to join in and to read the other stories.

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What Pegman Saw : What remained

 

‘Ever feel you’re being watched?’ said Rudy.

The path ahead was quiet except for the papery rustle of leaves, the creak and batter of crows in the dark canopy.

Dom leaned his rifle on a mossy wall, reached for his tobacco pouch. ‘Who’d you think’s watching?’ A spark, a pop of gas, a pool of light cupped in his palms.

Rudy shrugged, staring at the ground.

The kid had been quiet since illness struck the town, since the night of the pyre and the burying of what remained. Little wonder – the stink had caught in their clothes, formed a greasy coating on their skin. He’d feared it might never wash off.

‘There’s no one watching,’ he flicked the spent butt over the wall into the lake, ‘cos there ain’t no one left ‘cept you and me.’

Dom took up his rifle, cradling it close on the trudge home.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, the cracking writing prompt using Google Street View as its jumping off point. Today we are at Coniston Water in the Lake District. See here to join in, to read and comment.

 

 

 

 

 

Three Line Tales : What remains when she’s gone

 

three line tales week 114: a blur of a girl

photo by Charles Etoroma via Unsplash


 

She becomes a blur as she passes, rushing from store to store, caught in a whirlwind of purchases, money falling from her hands into every register like leaves spun on the breeze.

She feels herself blurring, her once hard edges bleeding outwards, flaking away like layers of over boiled potato. She thought once that things would shore her up, that the weight of her belongings would halt the crumbling. But instead, they’ve hastened it, eroded her until there is nothing but the chase, the purchase, the empty feeling when she reaches home.

One day there will be nothing left to prove she was here but plastic bags and a pile of unpaid credit card bills.


Written for Three Line Tales. See, write, share, read. Here.

Friday Fictioneers : Afterwards, on rainy days

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson


 

Afterwards, on rainy days Claire would wrap a blanket around her shoulders and dash to the arbour bench by the pond. Feet tucked up. Fat plops of rain falling from the roof, balding the lawn.

She would stare at the buttermilk pods of waterlilies, at the green discs of their leaves, at droplets gathering and rolling like mercury.

Watching the ripples form and grow, she would think of Mark, how he dropped into her life, how the ripples of his actions reached further than she could ever have imagined.

How they continued to spread, even though he was gone.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a story. Don’t forget to share, read and comment on other tales too – here.

What can I tell you – I saw the art work in the picture and thought of ripples on the surface of a pond.

 

Friday Fictioneers : A world too perfect to endure

PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg


 

‘Where did it happen?’

‘Perhaps it’s best if you don’t hear all the details -‘

‘I need to know.’

‘Further along. Past the sign.’

‘I want to see the exact spot.’

‘I don’t know why -‘

A sigh so deep, it cracked in his throat. ‘There was a point she could have stopped. Saved herself. I have to know why she didn’t.’

The ground was marked with police tape, scuffed by dozens of heavy boots. But there, beyond the yellow line, two small footprints.

Jerry gazed across the wooded valley, smelt the almond blossom on the warm breeze. And he knew.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a tale. See here to join in, read and comment.

 

 

What Pegman Saw : No longer watching

 

Meo had told me where to find the place, to look for a fresco of the Virgin in a window by the Via Sant’Alò. He’d shot me a lopsided smile. ‘You’ll see her eyes are closed, amico. The lady no longer watches over us.’

At the sight of that battered little door under the steps, my heart lurched. Too small for an adult to pass through without bending double, it would have been perfect for my Ciccio. I could imagine his excitement – a door his height when all the world was built for grown ups.

I saw his smile, sparkling ebony eyes, felt a small hand slipping into mine. Then the hospital, the smell of cleanser masking body fluids, the hiss of the ventilator.

I wanted to run, find a bar, anywhere, just away …

There was a grind of rusted metal and the door swung open. ‘Lost something?’ said a voice.

Trembling, I stepped inside.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a writing prompt that uses Google Streetview. See here to join in and to read and comment on the other stories.

 

 

 

What Pegman Saw : Becoming

This week, Pegman takes us to the Sambor Prei Kuk Temple in Cambodia.


 

Thursday 4th April 1901

The sun is setting. Naive European as I was – not now, after everything that’s happened – I imagined the evenings would bring some relief, some respite in which energies could be restored. Now, when I lie under my roof of sagging canvas – mosquito nets hung around me like a cocoon – I feel the nights are as hot as the days, hotter even. No respite. Never that here.

It is at night that the forest yearns to overtake the temple, snaking back over the leafy ground and that circle of bare earth cleared by Chanda and the other men. I imagine her – the Forest – sending out her lieutenants – gibbons, snakes, that velvet pawed assassin the tiger – to reclaim what I have stolen.

The men are gone. Have I written that before? I am losing track.

It occurs to me – if the nets are my cocoon, what am I becoming?

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a lovely prompt using Google Streetview as its source. See here to join in and to read the other tales.